Following introductory comments from Alishan Naqvee, comments on the FCPA from Stuart Gerson and the UK Bribery Act from Charles Wander, the group discussed their thoughts on anti-corruption legislation in their own countries. The discussion was quite lengthy, so I’ve broken it up into multiple posts.
Sueli Avellar Fonseca began with comments about Brazil, which she noted is rated highly on the corruption scale. She said that all the public departments and politicians engage in corruption. The government had created a commission to investigate the existence of corruption and their conclusion was that there is no evidence. Despite this, over the last eight years of the current government, they have made approximately 20 commissions and these commissions are all paid duties to vote in favor of the government.
Stuart commented that this is why a country like Brazil presents huge problems for outside companies doing business there. Sueli agreed and said that the UK and US authorities don’t care that it’s customary in Brazil to take bribes. She said that it’s not the government receivers of the bribes who will turn you in, but your competitors. So there is risk.